Moog Matriarch A 4-Note Paraphonic Analog Synthesizer

Moogfest 2019: Moog Music today introduced the Matriarch, a patchable 4-note paraphonic analog synthesizer that builds on the semi-modular design of their Grandmother synthesizer.

The Moog Matriarch features a built-in sequencer, arpeggiator, stereo ladder filters, and stereo analog delay. The company describes the new synth as ‘the pinnacle of Moog’s semi-modular family of analog synthesizers.

Moog Matriarch Video Intro:

The official intro video features performances by Lisa Bella Donna, Ghostly Intl. electronic producer Max Ravitz (Patricia), Anthem / Call of Duty / Assassins Creed composer Sarah Schachner and Paris Strother of R&B duo We Are KING.

The Moog Matriarch features a default signal path, so you can play it without any patching. The analog circuitry is based on classic Moog synthesizer modules. The default signal routing can be customized using the synth’s 90 modular patch points.


  • Mono, duo, and 4-note paraphonic playability
  • Stereo analog delay with up to 700ms of stereo or ping/pong style repeats
  • 256-step sequencer with up to four notes per step and 12 stored patterns
  • Arpeggiator with selectable modes (Order, Forward/Backward, Random)
  • Semi-modular analog synthesizer—no patching required
  • 90 modular patch points for endless exploration
  • Expressive 49-note Fatar keyboard with patchable velocity and aftertouch
  • Four analog oscillators with selectable waveshape and hard sync per-oscillator
  • Full-range analog LFO with six selectable waveshapes
  • Dual analog filters with parallel (HP/LP), stereo (LP/LP), and series (HP/LP) modes available
  • Dual analog ADSR envelopes
  • Dual analog VCAs
  • Three bipolar voltage controlled attenuators with ring mod capability
  • 2×4 parallel wired unbuffered mults
  • Additional simple analog LFO useful for adding modulation to delay, filters and VCAs
  • 1/4″ external audio input for processing guitars, drum machines, and more through Matriarch’s analog circuits
  • Stereo 1/4″ and 3.5mm Eurorack level audio outputs

Pricing and Availability

The Moog Matriarch is currently available exclusively through Guitar Center and at Moogfest 2019, priced at $1999. It will be available for preorder through all Authorized Moog Dealers worldwide starting Monday, April 29. See the Moog site for more information.

Update: Here are some additional video demos:

Musician’s Friend demo with Mikael Jorgensen (Wilco):

Guitar Center demo with Phil Cornish (Kanye West Musical Director):

56 thoughts on “Moog Matriarch A 4-Note Paraphonic Analog Synthesizer

    1. Consider the built-in analog delay. The Moogerfooger analog delay all by itself retailed for $800USD. 🙂 Think of it as a beautiful delay with a great synth tacked on for $1200. 😉

    2. If it was made overseas, the price point would most likely be lower. I’m speculating the prices will fall with all the analog offerings out there.

  1. I think the price tag is a bit too high, for 2000 $ you could buy a Waldorf KB37 and a few modules used….and when you get tired of it or want to try something new, then you can always exchange the individual racks…here you are stuck with what you have…

    1. Not sure how much synth you’d end up with though. I recently put together a KB37 system with a mixture of new and used modules, and deal so good on the keyboard itself that I probably should be lynched. It came out at around $3K, but new would have been over $4K. I’m not complaining. It’s a totally unique, all digital modular mono synth with a magical sound. Point is, that’s definitely not the cheaper route. Try spec’ing out a KB37 the same as a Matriarch (if you can fit it all in there) and see how much it comes to.

  2. Regarding pricing – Moog makes great gear and has a reputation for it and commands a premium as a result.

    The real question to me is “When did Paraphony become a selling point?”

    Paraphony was a kludge to get around the expense of analog circuits, and analog circuits really aren’t a big expense anymore. So why are many companies talking about paraphony as a selling point?

    Paraphony was a kludge in the 70’s, and the DX7 killed it off for 30 years. So why is it coming back? Does someone actually have nostalgia for kludges?

    1. Paraphony at $300 is totally fine by me.
      I’m less convinced about it’s value at $2000

      Fun fact: $2000 is 666% of $300

    2. We have to consider the fact that the synth is semi modular, so having individual ADSRs, Filters, VCAs etc would make it too complex and expensive. Being semi-modular and duophonic with stereo delay is already something.

      1. “We have to consider the fact that the synth is semi modular, so having individual ADSRs, Filters, VCAs etc would make it too complex and expensive.”

        I don’t buy that. Analog circuitry is now trivially inexpensive. If Korg can sell a four-voice analog keyboard for $500, the cost of the analog circuitry is not a barrier here.

        The issue is that they’re doing what they know, instead of stretching themselves to create something innovative.

        The 90 patch points are essentially on-off switches, connecting a source and destination within the synth. There’s no reason one can’t combine that depth of routing with polyphony – Oberheim was doing it 30 years ago.

        It seems like the patch cable implementation is a conscious design choice, because it allows for simple integration with other modular gear.

        I can understand that, and understand that Moog’s known for its old-school approach now. But doing something more innovative would be more interesting to me.

    3. I don’t think there’s a known convenient lay-out for a polyphonic semi-modular analogue synth? That’s the obstacle as far as I understand.

      1. A defined osc order + more rings on the cable and contact points in the socket. It would require as many lfos, envelopes, filters and so on as there are voices. Splitter cables could be used to patch each voice separately, and with separate cv and gate inputs per voice, the voice order could be controlled from external gear.

    1. If you look at 14:56 in the video, there’s a “Tap/sync” button on the Delay module, so it looks like it can be clock synced.

    1. Not completely off tilt there. It’s the same thing that went through my head when I saw it. I don’t think I’d want to get rid of the presets of the Sub37 though but I’ve already got a bunch invested in modular.

  3. $1400 would be a no-brainer and put it in a category where someone who was going to spend a grand might spend a little more. At $2k sales will probably be limited. Let’s just hope the Moog one firmware guy was not on this project….feel bad for those owners and their firmware update saga.

    1. “$1400 would be a no-brainer”

      No – even at that price people would complain about pricing. $1,400 is twice the cost of a Behringer Deepmind 12, which offers real polyphony and 12 voices vs 4.

      There will always be people that complain about prices on anything that Moog introduces. And those people are irrelevant, because Moog has to design synths for the people that WILL buy their gear.

      Regarding the Moog One firmware – I have yet to hear about anyone returning one over firmware issues.

      And the firmware on a synth like the Matriarch is nowhere near as complex as the Moog One’s. The Matriarch is just doing basic note on/off MIDI to CV conversion and voice allocation. They probably just tweak the code from one of their other monophonic/paraphonic synths.

      1. I bought a Model 15, a Minimoog, 3 DFAMs, and a Grandma all last year. Sold 2 Mothers. Basically lost t my mind with some refinance cash. It has been fun. Even some of us enthusiasts have a limit. I think with some discounts at 1700 they will sell. 2x Grandma. Best wishes.

  4. It sounds great but I walked into a guitar center a few months back and played on a grandmother. The sound was good but the build quality was a little shabby to me. Buttons were each different feeling and the tiny switches felt a little flimsy. It was probably banged on by idiot customers but still, it should hold up.
    I hope for this price point they addressed some of that.

  5. Call me crazy or deaf, most of the time i prefer the sound of digital synths. However, i think this one sounds really good and fat…like super analog roooaaarrrr. Also like the 70’s vibe. Will i buy one ? No, but still wish i could afford it…

  6. Wow! Very cool synth will have to try in person. A shame Moog is in bed with Guitar Center, would never spend a dollar there. They should be working directly with the boutique synth shops in the synth community like Noise Bug, Detroit Modular, Analog Haven, Control Voltage, Switched On.
    I love the Korg Mono/Poly and this seems to be a modern day version. I am hoping the Arp interacts with the oscillators in the same way. Also I don’t see a chord memory which was fantastic on the Mono/poly. Maybe I just need to wait for Korg or Behringer to do a modern day Mono/poly,

    1. I read a post on Elektronauts (I think) that confirmed that it does indeed cycle the oscillators a la Mono/Poly. I’m guessing it’s as simple as selecting 4 voice paraphonic mode and engaging the arpeggiator.

  7. To be expected I guess, but I’m surprised about all the bellyaching over the price. Likely by those who A) can’t afford a Moog, and/or B) never played or owned a Moog, and/or C) have no idea about what costs are for a small manufacturer to lovingly hand assemble every instrument… vs mass manufacturing by robots in China. Folks, you get what you pay for. Behringer can build their recreations for low prices largely due to robotic assembly off shore, whereas Moogs are hand assembled by real humans, likely musicians who love the very instruments they build. If you can’t afford a Moog, that’s cool. But be honest about it, instead of whining because it costs more than some off shore crap. NO ONE complains about a Stradivarius violin costing a fortune. Because the price is justified by the instrument. Moog builds synths in that level of class and sophistication. They have soul. They are priceless to the owners of them. If you played a Moog for any serious amount of time, you’d understand.

    1. The parts which Moog assembles are mass produced in China. You’re not paying for the parts or assembling alone but also for the design. And of course, because it’s Moog. Nothing wrong with that by the way. If you really like an instrument costs are not that important I think. If one could not afford it right away, then one could always save for it.

    2. I would be surprised if there weren’t surface mount components in this synth, and they almost certainly would have been picked and placed by robots. Nothing wrong with that either, I think I would actually *prefer* my circuits to be build by robots. I feel like you are mythologising the hand built aspect…

      1. Machines can have much lover tolerances than humans. But few machines today, themselves recognize when they made a mistake, meaning that the result has to be checked. But with machine learning and x-ray scans, machines could build electronics that would last longer than most electronics assembled by hand. But quality control is an area that doesn’t always pay off, sometimes it is cheaper to replace faulty products completely than check them before shipping.. That at least has been the case of several behringer products. And under engineering/designing, saving a few bucks instead of getting a much better result with almost unnoticeable increase in production cost.

    3. If all the parts were made in the U.S.A. then I could understand, but most are from China….just someone in the U.S. assembles it.

    4. So what you are saying is that this 4 voice synth costs a lot because it is hand assembled by a small team and not by robots.

      So, how does it compare against a hand-assembled Dreadbox Abyss, a voice true polyphonic patchable analog with onboard delay and reverb? $999 vs $1999 . Those Fatar keybeds must be very costly.

      1. First, you’d want to compare with the MSRP of the abyss, which was $1100. The matriarch will probably sell for around $1800, $2000 is just the MSRP. Second, the Abyss is not patchable. It’s not semi-modular. I love the Abyss, and think it’s a great concept, but it’s apples/oranges. No dual multi-mode filter. I don’t think you can choose different wave types for the four oscillators, unless there’s some hidden functionality. No separate octave transposition or pwm per oscillator, no mults, no ring mod, no sync. Plus, yes, you do get a keyboard, mod, and pitch wheel with the Moog.

      2. justification for price or not. I have a grandmother and it has one of the nicest synth action keyboard I’ve ever felt.

  8. This is a dream synth!

    The price is high but right for such a special instrument.
    You could argue that you can get the smaller Grandmotehr and another small polysynth for the price of the matriarch.

    For me paraphony is working out great whith 4 voices – and the matriarch has just enough features to play exiting pieces with just one instrument – i’m quite hyped!

  9. I think it sounds wonderful and the layout and patch points are fantastic. I think it’s different than other things on the market and at some point I want to own one. I would have loved the spring reverb with the delay and of course presets. The price is high but the sound is irreplaceable by other synths. I have a Minotaur and I don’t think I could replace it with anything. I could replace my Deepmind with a Juno and I almost did but rackmount units are great.

  10. If you’re looking for 4-voice paraphony in a far more sophisticated and versatile machine, the DSI Pro-2 would wipe the floor with this. A beautiful sounding synth.

  11. Why is it that in every single article about a new synthesizer anywhere on the web at least half a dozen people have to randomly bring up Behringer? Are they beginners that just recently entered the music world through the Behringer back door and have not yet realized that everything doesn’t revolve around „their“ brand? Or are they paid promoters? Or simply trolls? In any case, it’s annoying.

  12. I like the aesthetics and the dual-filter makes it the first Moog in 15+ years that can compete with the Moog Voyager – but the price! You get full 16 voice polyphony (+ bi-timbral layering) from the competition for less.

  13. well for 2 grand you just get one row of modular gear otherwise. If you wanna go cheap, stay away from modular. But I love my grandmother with its sound, the haptics and the layout. Its just a joy to play. This is very tempting and 2000 bucks seems reasonable for the quality you get. its not about the electrical components, its how they are tweaked and calibrated them to sound amazing. Its seems nearly impossible to get a bad sound out of this.

  14. That delay, plus four oscillators, plus a paraphonic option sound pretty awesome! It is like the Grandmother on steroids. If paired with an additional sequencer I am thinking you can patch up some pretty cool poly-rhythmic stuff. The price point seems pretty parallel to building a eurorack of similar size plus you are getting Moog parts, so I am not too surprised.

  15. Does anyone commenting on the high price have any idea what it costs to pay your employees a living wage in addition to providing health insurance, dental, vision, workers comp, unemployment, retirement contributions, utilities, licenses and any other cost that comes with running a business BEFORE you even get one product prototyped, calibrated, assembled and out the door? I’m sure every cost saving consideration had been given in putting this new synth out to market at a fair price. If you’re not going to buy one, that’s OK! You don’t need it to survive! I’ll be ordering one as soon as I can; to be played as much as possible along side my Sub 37 and Prophet Rev2.

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